Beginning, stopping, going again

This week I began writing my long poem/thing (I really don’t know what it’s going to look like). I’ve been ‘working on it’ for weeks, in the sense that I have had ideas and phrases going round in my head, but on Wednesday, after a lot of laundry and other procrastination, I sat down and…

Right in the Middle

When I first started writing, I thought I was going to write a novel. I began (as we often do) on January 1st, having selected a couple of useful books for Neil to wrap for me for Christmas. I hoped to finish a first draft by the end of the year, and it seemed sensible…

Head Back in the Game

Last time, I talked about how I was setting out to find my poetry head again and I’m glad to report that it’s working. I took a complete break from everything for a week – unplanned but definitely needed. We have been to Estonia for a long weekend for a friend’s wedding and the books and…

Momentum: losing it, finding it

May was a great month for writing, and research, and walking and filling journal pages with all sorts of things about the Thames. I wrote seven short stories and a couple of poems and I was loving it. In June, everything fell apart. The terror attacks, the negativity and uncertainty surrounding the General Election, a…

Selecting

I’ve pretty much finished gathering information, and although I still have some reading to do (I just ordered this fab looking book), and I already started writing long ago, this weeks feels like I’m moving into the ‘second half’ of the project, the half where I use all the stuff I found and learned to create my…

Stage Six – Fascinating things

It’s the morning after the General Election here, and it’s difficult to concentrate on anything, but it’s also Friday, and I have finished stage six of my journey – I have walked all the way (with much extra wandering) from Teddington Weir to the Thames Barrier. Teddington is the furthest point upstream that the tide reaches, and…

Stage Five – The history rabbit hole

Yesterday was a glorious day for walking by the river, and almost the whole section was completely new to me – I’ve been to Greenwich before, but otherwise I had never really been anywhere east of Tower Bridge. I had a bit of a wander in Borough Market for old times’ sake and to collect some…

Stage Four – Bridges and barges

It’s been such glorious summer weather in London yesterday and today that it’s hard to sit down indoors and get on with writing work. Yesterday I walked from Battersea to London Bridge, and today I went back to Battersea to meet up with a friend who used to live on a barge there. I knew…

Stage Two – Mostly birds

Old Deer Park, Kew Gardens, Syon Park, Mortlake Cemetery, Dukes Meadows… Most of my walk yesterday took me alongside parks and woodland, and it would have been easy to imagine myself deep in the country. I worked a bit on trees, and can now confidently identify Horse Chestnut and London Plane, still can’t tell the difference…